Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ancient skulls may belong to elusive humans called Denisovans | Science | AAAS

Ancient skulls may belong to elusive humans called Denisovans | Science | AAAS:

Late Pleistocene archaic human crania from Xuchang, China | Science

Late Pleistocene archaic human crania from Xuchang, China | Science:

Ancient Stone Tool Find Suggests Mystery Human Species : Discovery News

Ancient Stone Tool Find Suggests Mystery Human Species : Discovery News:
           
Ancient stone tools from an archaeological site on Sulawesi have pushed back the date of the earliest human occupation of the Indonesian island to at least 118,000 years ago.

The discovery, published today in Nature, overturns the view that humans first entered the island between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago as Homo sapiens dispersed out of Africa on the way to Australia.

Instead the finding suggests an ancient human species inhabited the island well before Homo sapiens arrived.

The Mystery of Red Deer Cave | Popular Archaeology - exploring the past

The Mystery of Red Deer Cave | Popular Archaeology - exploring the past:

It wasn’t altogether unique to find fossils of archaic humans in these parts. But what Curnoe and his colleagues found most noteworthy about these archaic human fossils was their unusual combination of primitive and modern features, coupled with the late date range—a time almost exclusively attributed to the presence of anatomically modern humans (AMH). All other species of human, at least in these regions of China, were thought to have gone extinct tens of thousands of years earlier. The finds harkened back to the sensational discovery made in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia, where scientists recovered and identified skeletal remains of another unusual species of human with archaic features—Homo floresiensis, popularly known as the “hobbit”. That human, determined to have occupied the site possibly as late as only 12,000 years ago, featured a very small (average 3 feet tall) body and small cranium or brain capacity, and a mosaic of other features, including a Homo erectus-like skull with a chinless mandible. The Red Deer Cave finds, on the other hand, featured an altogether different mosaic of anatomical features, decidedly different than Homo floresiensis and any other known species of human in the paleontological record. This species sported long, tall, broad frontal brain lobes much like modern humans, but they also featured more primitive characteristics such as a smaller brain capacity, thick skull bones, a prominent brow ridge, a jutting jaw that lacked a chin, a flat upper face with a broad nose, and large molars. Other features were unique to the Red Deer Cave specimen, shared by neither archaic or modern humans, such as a very curved forehead bone, very broad eye sockets and very flat, flaring cheeks.  “In short,” Curnoe told a LiveScience reporter, “they’re anatomically unique among all members of the human evolutionary tree.”

Study reveals the mysterious ancestors of modern Europeans - The Washington Post

Study reveals the mysterious ancestors of modern Europeans - The Washington Post




The Crater of Fire | Earth Blog

The Crater of Fire | Earth Blog:




Ecology and biogeography of megafauna and macrofauna at the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge : Scientific Reports

Ecology and biogeography of megafauna and macrofauna at the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge : Scientific Reports:

World's oldest axe found in the wilds of Australia - CSMonitor.com

World's oldest axe found in the wilds of Australia - CSMonitor.com:




Searchable Atlas Of Strange Places

I'm still exploring it, but so far, so good. If you can't
 get at least one "Oooh! That gives me an idea!" thought
 from it I'll be very surprised.

 http://atlasobscura.com/globe


On Line NPC Generators


Abulafia Random Generator Wiki And Web Pages



  • Abulafia http: random-generator.com



Traveller Adventures On Line


  • http://zho.berka.com/amber/ as a couple of adventures on it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Generate An Adventure!

RESOURCES! · Issue #11 · dariusk/NaNoGenMo · GitHub:



https://github.com/dariusk/NaNoGenMo/issues/11

https://github.com/dariusk/corpora

https://github.com/dariusk/NaNoGenMo-2014

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/storygen.php








GM Preparation Templates


Lists of tables and web sites to help prep a gaming session:

Introduction and Overview:
http://www.gnomestew.com/gming-advice/why-using-a-template-for-game-prep-is-awesome/print/

Sample Templates:
http://www.gnomestew.com/gming-advice/prep-lite-manifesto-the-template/print/
http://www.gnomestew.com/gming-advice/the-3-3-3-approach-to-quick-game-prep/

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ancient Native Americans Ate Pachyderms; Site Challenges Theory of Where New World Culture Began

Ancient Native Americans Ate Pachyderms; Site Challenges Theory of Where New World Culture Began

What the world's biggest diamonds hint about the Earth's mantle - CSMonitor.com

What the world's biggest diamonds hint about the Earth's mantle - CSMonitor.com

Diamonds are formed deep below the Earth’s crust in the mantle and are brought to the surface during volcanic eruptions, bringing with them tiny flecks of metal and minerals trapped inside. While these “inclusions” are cut out to sell the jewels, they offer scientists a unique look at the composition of the Earth’s interior.

"You really couldn't ask for a better vessel to store something in," Evan Smith, a diamond geologist at the GIA and an author of the study, told NPR. "Diamond is the ultimate Tupperware."

The GIA procured eight fingernail-sized chunks of left-over diamond scraps, which the research team cut open and ground up to look at using microscopes, lasers, magnets, and electron beams.

They found that the inclusions contained a mixture of iron, nickel, carbon, and sulfur, encased in a thin layer of fluid methane and hydrogen. The metallic inclusions indicated that the diamonds were formed under extreme pressure, in oxygen-deprived patches of liquid metal.

Furthermore, some samples also contained mineral inclusions that suggested the large diamonds form at much greater depths than smaller ones – as deep as 200 to 500 miles below the surface, Dr. Smith told NPR, while smaller diamonds form at roughly 90 to 120 miles down.

Do these ancient 'geoglyphs' hold a secret to preserving the Amazon? - CSMonitor.com

Do these ancient 'geoglyphs' hold a secret to preserving the Amazon? - CSMonitor.com

Some believe their existence implied vast land-clearing, but evidence from a recent study suggests otherwise. Rather, the geoglyph builders of millenniums past may have relied on small-scale burning to open relatively tight spaces within carefully cultivated forests, revealing sophisticated agroforestry practices that could have serious implications for current conservation efforts in both North and South America.

The new paper contributes to the growing body of research suggesting that the popular image of the pre-Columbian Americas as “pristine landscapes” is nothing more than a myth, as journalist Charles Mann argued in his book “1491.” From widespread burning of the Eastern forest in North America, to the extensive control over watersheds in the southwest, “basically a zillion archaeological studies show all kinds of human manipulation,” he tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email.

This new thinking suggests that efforts to preserve forest ecosystems in some apocryphal "natural" state through absolute control may do more harm than good, because it neglects the fact that they never were truly wild: forests evolved together with humans.


The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets | History | Smithsonian

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets | History | Smithsonian

Huge Jupiter-Like Storm Rages On Cool 'Failed Star' : Discovery News

Huge Jupiter-Like Storm Rages On Cool 'Failed Star' : Discovery News:

L-dwarfs are a special subset of tiny stellar objects that possess both star-like and planet-like characteristics. Known colloquially as “failed stars,” brown dwarfs are too massive to be classified as planets, but they are too small to be clearly defined as stars. They form a bridge between planets and stars and can weigh-in at many times the mass of Jupiter (although their physical size is approximately that of Jupiter). They are celestial mongrels in a way; they have qualities of both stars and planets, but can be clearly defined as neither.
For example, although some of the more massive brown dwarfs (such as M- and L-dwarfs) can experience some low-level fusion in their cores (a star-like quality), it’s not enough to raise the object’s temperature beyond a couple of thousand degrees. Therefore, their atmospheres can become stratified (layered) and possess very planet-like phenomena such as clouds and, in this case, powerful storms.
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer discovered W1906+40 in 2011 and astronomers realized that the object was within the field of view of NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope. Usually, Kepler will look out for “transits” of exoplanets that orbit in front of their host stars — the slight dimming caused by the planet blocking star light causes a dip in brightness. But sometimes “starspots” can also be detected by Kepler — basically huge dark patches of magnetic activity in the uppermost stellar layers.
So, using Kepler, although the light generated by W1906+40 is faint, astronomers detected a huge dark patch rotate with the L-dwarf’s spin. Could it just be another star sporting a vast, dark cluster of star spots, like our sun does during periods of high magnetic activity?


How a huge landslide shaped Zion National Park

How a huge landslide shaped Zion National Park:

A Utah mountainside collapsed 4,800 years ago in a gargantuan landslide known as a "rock avalanche," creating the flat floor of what is now Zion National Park by damming the Virgin River to create a lake that existed for 700 years.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-05-huge-landslide-zion-national.html#jCp

The most Earth-like planet we know about is probably too radioactive for life - The Washington Post

The most Earth-like planet we know about is probably too radioactive for life - The Washington Post:

Kepler-438b is only 12 percent bigger than Earth in diameter, and scientists gave it a 70 percent chance of being rocky like our own world. Scientists were further tantalized by its distance from its host star, Kepler-438. Kepler-438b is a red dwarf chillier than our own sun, but the exoplanet in question is close enough to its star that it boasts a 70 percent chance of holding liquid water -- or having the right temperature to hold it, anyway.

But it turns out that the star is ejecting superflares 10 times as powerful as any solar flare ever recorded in our own system. The flares carry the energy of 100 billion megatons of TNT, and they happen regularly, at least once every few hundred days.

Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Arctic's Earliest People

Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Arctic's Earliest People

Inuit hunters in the Canadian Arctic have long told stories about a mysterious ancient people known as the Tunit, who once inhabited the far north. Tunit men, they recalled, possessed powerful magic and were strong enough to crush the neck of a walrus and singlehandedly haul the massive carcass home over the ice.  Yet the stories described the Tunit as a reticent people who kept to themselves, avoiding contact with their neighbors.

http://dailydigestnews.com/2014/08/inuit-myths-confirmed-nervous-giants-were-first-settlers-of-arctic-say-scientists/

http://dailydigestnews.com/2014/08/study-ancient-arctic-dwellers-were-not-really-into-sex/

http://www.digitaljournal.com/science/ancient-dna-shows-inuit-were-not-the-first-to-settle-the-arctic/article/400257

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/29/science/study-offers-clues-to-arctic-mystery-paleo-eskimos-abrupt-extinction.html




ALMA observations of HD 163296 reveal the presence of two planets.

ALMA observations of HD 163296 reveal the presence of two planets.:

HD 163296 is a very young star about 400 light-years from Earth. That’s pretty close as these kinds of objects go, making it a ripe target for astronomers to observe. And by young I do mean young; it’s only about 4 million years old—the Sun is literally a thousand times older than that!—so astronomers chomp at the bit to observe it. It’s a perfect opportunity to see how stars form.

And not just stars, but planets! We’ve known for a while that HD 163296 has a dusty disk surrounding it, and that this is exactly the sort of thing we expect planets to form in. And now new observations show pretty convincing evidence that this baby star has at least two baby planets orbiting it!

The image above reveals the disk around HD 163296 as observed by ALMA, the Atacama Large  Millimeter/submillimeter Array. ALMA sees “colors” of light well outside what our eyes can, wavelengths longer even than infrared. Warm dust around a star emits this kind of light, and the image above shows just that. You can easily see the dust is not just in a disk, but in a set of rings around the star.

Using physics and math, we can predict that forming planets will carve gaps just like that in the disk, their gravity drawing in the material around them as they grow. And there those gaps are!


Exclusive: Millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil stuck at sea in dirty tankers | Reuters

Exclusive: Millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil stuck at sea in dirty tankers | Reuters:

More than 4 million barrels of Venezuelan crude and fuels are sitting in tankers anchored in the Caribbean sea, unable to reach their final destination because state-run PDVSA cannot pay for hull cleaning, inspections, and other port services, according to internal documents and Reuters data.

About a dozen tankers are being held back because the hulls have been soiled by crude, stemming from several oil leaks in the last year at key ports of Bajo Grande and Jose, which has resulted in delayed operations for loading and discharging.

1,000 Years Ago, Corn Made Cahokia, An American Indian City Big. Then, Climate Change Destroyed It : The Salt : NPR

1,000 Years Ago, Corn Made Cahokia, An American Indian City Big. Then, Climate Change Destroyed It : The Salt : NPR: